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What Construction Work Can You Do in Winter: A Guide to Year-Round Projects

When it comes to construction work, many people assume that winter months bring projects to a halt. However, contrary to popular belief, there are several construction activities that can be accomplished during the colder season. In this guide, we will explore the benefits and possibilities of winter construction work, while highlighting conditions that are suitable for such projects.

Benefits of Winter Construction Work:

  1. Cost-Effective:

    • Reduced labor and material costs compared to peak construction seasons.
    • Increased availability of construction crews due to fewer ongoing projects.
    • Potential discounts offered by suppliers aiming to maintain business during the slower season.
  2. Faster Project Completion:

    • Less competition for resources and permits, resulting in faster approvals.
    • Reduced traffic and public disruptions, allowing for smoother project execution.
    • Contractors can focus on projects without being stretched thin by multiple simultaneous jobs.
  3. Enhanced Planning Opportunities:

    • Extended planning periods during the winter months can lead to better project management.
    • Detailed site assessments can be conducted without the distractions of ongoing work.
    • Time to refine designs and strategies, resulting in improved project outcomes.

Conditions Suitable for Winter Construction Work:

  1. Interior Renovations

If work is taking place on the interior of an enclosed building, contractors can use temporary heaters to keep the installation area warm enough for the adhesives to set. The building materials should also be stored in a heated area to warm up before work begins.

How does cold weather affect construction?

Cold Weather Hazards

Loss of alertness – If workers become uncomfortable due to the cold temperature, they can be distracted from concentrating fully on their work tasks, which can cause accidents, especially if they are using power tools or other heavy equipment.

What are the problems with winter construction?

One of the greatest challenges during winter construction is frozen ground. When the ground is frozen, a number of problems can arise: pouring concrete footings poured in cold weather can be limiting, if not, impossible; frozen ground can hinder digging; and melting snow can cause muddy, hazardous construction sites.

Why does construction slow down in the winter?

The extra moisture and freezing temperatures can lead to construction materials not functioning the same as in dry conditions. For example, concrete's strength and durability often depend on how quickly it dries, but cold weather slows that down.

How do contractors make money in the winter?

Popular services are holiday lighting, decorating and snow removal. Some even contract Christmas trees. I've heard of contractors providing carpet cleaning services, air-conditioning & heating services during the winter and some who even keep busy repairing snowmobiles.

How do contractors make money in winter?

Some contractors shift their focus to interior remodeling and design in the winter. This is because many customers solicit bids during the winter months to see if a project will be less expensive. Projects such as interior flooring, painting, plumbing and cabinetry can be completed in any type of weather.

What is too cold for construction workers?

OSHA standards generally advise that when temperatures hit -30º to -34ºF or below with more than 10-20 mph winds, nonemergency construction work should cease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a contractor be a millionaire?

Construction millionaires not only exist, they are created every day. Most have made their fortunes not because they got one lucky break, but because they figured out how to work smart, not just hard. Once you finally understand the secrets to success there is absolutely no limit for where you can take your company.

Why does construction stop in winter?

Winter is often not the best time to break ground on a new custom build because of ground temperatures. Frozen ground can extend a foot or more below vegetation, which complicates both excavation and the pouring of concrete foundations.

What do concrete guys do in the winter?

Redi-Mix suppliers should pre-heat water and aggregates to mix with the cement to 140˚F and 180˚F (60˚C and 82˚C) to offset the cold weather. Remove the ice, snow, and water from the area of the pour. Protect the workers and concrete from wind and weather that may cause quick temperature drops and swift evaporation.

FAQ

How do constructions stay warm in the winter?
The top nine types of clothing to wear while working in the cold:
  1. Thermal insulated coveralls.
  2. Thermal polyester underwear.
  3. Fleece or wool liner for hard hat.
  4. Insulated gloves, mittens should be worn for extreme temperatures below -17 degrees.
  5. Wrap-around eye protection.
  6. Scarves.
What time of year is the most construction done?

Summer

Summer. The summer season is often the most popular time for construction projects, due to the particularly dry atmosphere that is present in the summer.

How does construction on high-rise buildings continue in winter

Aug 20, 2020 — Construction in the Arctic usually begins before the snow falls. Both indoor and outdoor construction will continue throughout the winter, even at -40 C/F 

What construction work can you do in winter

Does snow affect construction? Muddy conditions and snow and ice forming on walkways, roofs and scaffolding can create hazards such as slips and falls, less traction leading to skidding, and overturned equipment.

How does snow affect building?

The melting snow can also freeze down the side of your building, damaging the walls and creating the risk of dangerously large icicles. These icicles can even take some of your roof membrane with them if they fall.

What is the definition of winter conditions construction?

In construction, “winter conditions” refers to specific budget line items added to accommodate increased fuel, material, and labor expenses related to activities during the coldest months of the year.

  • Can you build during the winter?
    • There's a misconception that homes can't be built in the winter especially in the cold, snowy, and rainy Pacific Northwest. But that's just not true. New construction continues throughout the winter months which means you don't have to wait until spring to start building your dream home.

  • What is the busiest time of year for construction?
    • In addition, peak season is the most expensive time, because of how much contractors must accomplish during these months. Peak period is usually around May through September, but it'll vary in different areas. These months typically have the nicest weather, which makes it easier to finish projects quickly.

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